The US 2022 midterm elections are quickly approaching, and it’s arduous to overstate how a lot is at stake: We’re, as soon as once more, voting like our lives rely upon it. Whereas I’m making an attempt to be optimistic (partially as a result of the 2018 US midterms had the best voter turnout in 4 a long time, which is nice), turnout is nearly all the time decrease throughout midterm elections than presidential elections, and we merely can not afford for people to remain house this 12 months.
Should you hadn’t actually thought a lot concerning the midterms to date, or when you’re feeling cynical about politics within the US, I get it. The double whammy of not feeling totally represented by the two-party system or the electoral faculty could make it straightforward to really feel like your vote doesn’t actually matter, particularly when you don’t dwell in a swing state. And the GOP’s aggressive, unabashed efforts to suppress and discredit voters are extremely demoralizing.
However the concept your vote doesn’t depend is, largely, rooted in how the US does presidential elections, in addition to the pervasive concept that the president alone is answerable for the state of our nation. Whereas the president (clearly!) performs an enormous position in setting the nation’s agenda, signing payments into regulation, and appointing federal and Supreme Courtroom judges, it’s vital to keep in mind that the folks in Congress, together with our state legislators and different native officers (like college boards, sheriffs, and judges), have an enormous impression on our on a regular basis lives.
It’s additionally value contemplating simply what number of positions we’re set to vote on come November 8. Thirty-four seats within the Senate and each seat within the Home of Representatives—together with 36 governors and 6,278 of the nation’s 7,383 state legislative seats—are up for grabs, and the individuals who win these elections will form the way forward for gun management, local weather change, reproductive well being care, and civil rights…points which might be, fairly actually, issues of life and demise.
Over the previous few years, many people, particularly within the wellness area, have been in an ongoing dialog about each the significance of self-care and the constraints of it. And if it wasn’t clear earlier than March 2020 that there’s solely a lot we will do as people for our psychological and bodily well being, it definitely is now. In actual fact, at this level, it’s fairly apparent that our private well being and well-being relies on systemic change within the type of state and federal motion that create strong techniques of assist. Issues aren’t going to get higher if craven, bigoted, anti-science conspiracy theorists maintain management positions on our college boards, in our state homes, and within the federal authorities. In actual fact, if we don’t prioritize searching for one another and enacting change, issues will possible get loads worse. And that, to me, is why voting—particularly in state and native elections—is such a vital facet of wholesome dwelling. We merely can’t have collective care with out collective political motion.
Listed below are only a few of the ways in which well being is on the poll within the 2022 midterms—and why your vote is definitely extra highly effective than you would possibly understand.
Paid sick depart
Having time without work of labor to relaxation and get better from a chilly, the flu, or extra critical sickness is nice for each people and communities. However even though paid sick depart is overwhelmingly well-liked throughout get together strains, it stays elusive within the US. The excellent news is that that is one thing that’s being immediately addressed throughout the nation on the native stage. Seventeen states at present have paid sick depart legal guidelines on the books, and a few cities (like Los Angeles, Oakland, and Berkeley, California) have expanded on what’s mandated on the state stage, whereas others (Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Duluth) require paid depart even when their states don’t. If that’s not a potent instance of what native elected officers can do for our collective well-being, I don’t know what’s.